Deer Hunting Barrel

Discussion of the Remington 870 for hunting.
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The New Guy
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Deer Hunting Barrel

Post by The New Guy » Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:11 am

Hey i just got an 870 that JD at AIP Tactic built for me. I am not a hunter; never really been actually. But with my newly aquired 870 I can see myself doing a little deer hunting (once/twice a year). What barrel/chokes would you guys recommend?

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Synchronizor
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Re: Deer Hunting Barrel

Post by Synchronizor » Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:14 am

Just to make sure, J.D. built your 870 on a standard receiver with a 4-round base magazine tube, right?

I'm guessing you're talking about slug hunting instead of buckshot hunting, right? If so, do you want to set yourself up with a dedicated rifled slug barrel and spin-stabilized slugs, or are you going to stick with smoothbore slugs?

Also, how is your gun configured at the moment - barrel, sights, magazine setup, stock, and so on? Or is it just one of J.D.'s standard models?

The New Guy
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Deer Hunting Barrel

Post by The New Guy » Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:32 am

Right now it has the 2 shot ext, so its 6+1. 18.5" barrel with rifle sights, 13" LOP stock with supercell pad.

I feel i would rather hunt with slugs than buck shot. Is there a benefit to using a rifled slug barrel compared to a smooth bore?

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Synchronizor
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Re: Deer Hunting Barrel

Post by Synchronizor » Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:56 am

A rifled barrel allows you to effectively shoot special spin-stabilized slugs; sub-gauge projectiles (smaller in diameter than the bore size) that are constructed much more like scaled-up rifle or handgun bullets, and are contained within a plastic spacer called a sabot that falls away once the projectile clears the muzzle. These slugs are flatter-shooting, more precise, and more aerodynamic than traditional shotgun slugs intended for smoothbore barrels, so they remain effective at longer ranges. With good ammunition, a fully-rifled slug gun can reach out to 150 or even 200 yards reliably, whereas smoothbore slugs aren't typically much good past 100 yards.

However, these advanced slugs are rather expensive to shoot, to say nothing of the hundreds of dollars you'll spend on a fully-rifled barrel and scope. If you're not going to be doing a lot of slug hunting, the setup & operating costs may be hard to justify.

Twelve-gauge smoothbore slugs are really nothing to sneeze at. While they have their limitations, they've been dropping game just fine for a long time. It's like rifle cartridges; everyone's always talking about the latest barrel-burning wonder-magnums, but the old .30-30 and .45-70 are still putting meat in the freezer. Smoothbore slugs are pretty affordable to shoot, and since your 870 already has a good recoil pad, rifle sights, and presumably a fairly open choke, it sounds like it's already fairly well-suited to slug shooting. Pick up a magazine cap and 4-round magazine spring (not much need for a magazine extension on a slug gun), and maybe a light sear spring, and you should be ready to hit the range to find a slug load that you and your 870 both like. If things go well and you feel like slug hunting could be a major hobby for you, you can always upgrade to a fully-rifled setup later on.

The New Guy
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Deer Hunting Barrel

Post by The New Guy » Mon Apr 27, 2015 1:39 pm

Wow ok, thanks for the information, thats a big difference. And may i ask a beginner question? Slugs are more effective than buckshot, correct?

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Synchronizor
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Re: Deer Hunting Barrel

Post by Synchronizor » Mon Apr 27, 2015 8:03 pm

It depends on the situation. Slugs let you make longer, more precise shots than buckshot, which is devastating up close, but spreads out and loses velocity pretty quickly. Unless you're hunting at very close ranges, or there are safety and/or legal reasons you have to use buckshot, slugs will probably be the better option for larger game like deer.

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